Foreign airlines have taken to serving Korean dishes on flights to Korea while Korean airlines have begun offering luxury well-being dishes.
Overseas airlines and Korean airlines have taken different paths in the competition to offer tempting in-flight meals. The foreign airlines, seeking to attract Korean passengers, have put Korean-style dishes on their menus, while Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are focusing on high-quality offerings.
On Wednesday Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it will serve bibimbap on flights from Hong Kong to Incheon. "Koreans and passengers from other countries are very interested in bibimbap, so we decided to serve it as a new in-flight meal," an official from Cathay Pacific said. "Currently bibimbap is available only for business class travelers, but we plan to serve it in economy class soon."
Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, which already serve Korean-style dishes on board, are updating their menus every other month. Singapore Airlines serves samgyetang and panbroiled beef on flights from Incheon to Singapore and oxtail soup with rice and eel on flights from Incheon to San Francisco and Vancouver. Lufthansa serves bibimbap with kimchi and Korean hot pepper paste as well as instant noodle soup.
Emirates, which flies between Incheon and Dubai, serves Korean-style seaweed soup and bean-paste potage and updates its menu every month. On Air Canada's flights from Korea, 60 percent of in-flight meals are Korean-style dishes, including bulgogi (seasoned grilled beef), chicken porridge and instant noodle soup.
Meanwhile Korean Air has begun serving bibimbap made with organic vegetables. And since Sept. 17 Korean Air's first and business class passengers have been able to enjoy red ginseng tea made from Jeju Island spring water and boiled for more than six hours. Red ginseng drinks are also available in economy class.
Asiana Airlines plans to serve select dishes from Toh Lim, a Chinese restaurant in the Lotte Hotel, to first and business class travelers on flights between Korea and the U.S. from October.